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Ex-Yankee Giambi embracing leadership role

03/16/2013 7:33 PM ET
By Matt Hughes

Once a feared slugger, Jason Giambi has embraced an elder statesman role in Cleveland.(AP)
Jason Giambi is trying for one more season as a Major League player. The former American League MVP has embraced his role as a part-time player and leader in the clubhouse.

A recent New York Times article highlights Giambi's effort to make the Cleveland Indians roster as a pinch-hitter and DH. Giambi, 42, was once known for his fast lifestyle but now approaches the game with a sense of responsibility. His leadership is not lost on Indians' manager Terry Francona.

"He's not a veteran, he's the veteran," Francona said. "I've already gone to him three or four times asking him questions. He's solid. Brings a lot."

The former Athletics, Yankees and Rockies star's resume includes an American League MVP award, playing in the World Series, a steroid confession in 2003 and now a leadership role as one of baseball's elder statesman. Giambi has been a popular player at every stop of his remarkable career.

Rockies management was particularly fond of Giambi, who interviewed him for the team's manager position during the off-season after four productive years as a player. The Rockies eventually offered the manager position to Walt Weiss but Giambi was reportedly offered the team's hitting coach position. He declined and decided to take a stab at one more year as a player. Giambi still hopes to manage in the Majors when his playing days are over.

Jason Giambi made his Major League debut in 1995. He has a career .280 average and has hit 429 home runs.

Follow Matt Hughes on Twitter: @hughesmatt

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